Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s handling of West Philippine Sea dispute with China. “They have aircraft carriers. They have submarines. Missiles. What do we have? Kwitis,” Enrile said as quoted by ABS-CBN News.
“At least they are talking to us. The moment they ignore us then we should worry. They are reaching us, we should welcome it,” he added.
When asked to comment on the posting of “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” tarpaulins that coincided with the second year since a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration released its ruling on South China Sea issue, the former lawmaker said “well there are various elements in the country who would like to cause trouble internally.”
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described the posting of tarpaulins as “absurd”.
“It’s absurd and I’m sure it’s the enemies of the government who are behind it. So to them, try again. You need a better gimmick than that,” Roque said on July 12.
He said that certainly there is no truth in the message brought by the banners.
“We continue to assert our sovereignty and sovereign rights. But we decided to move on on issues which are non controversial because we know the final resolution particularly on the issue of sovereignty on the disputed islands will take many many many years to resolve since this was not the subject of arbitral ruling that we won two years ago,” Roque added.
Sources: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/13/18/they-have-aircraft-carriers-what-do-we-have-enrile-backs-duterte-on-china-policy; https://www.mintfo.com/politics-governance/palace-comments-on-philippines-province-of-china-tarpaulins/5322/